SPONSORED: Brightest young minds compete for grand prize

Powering Africa’s brightest young minds is the theme for the 48th edition of the Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition

Powering Africa’s brightest young minds is the theme for the 48th edition of the Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition


SPONSORED - The Nedbank & Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition was launched in 1972 as a platform to empower and create exposure for the country’s brightest young minds.

Now in its 48th edition, the competition has become a highly anticipated annual event that coincides with the national Budget Speech.

The competition is open to tertiary students across South Africa and calls on entrants to share their ideas on how to solve key economic and societal challenges, as well as balancing the practicalities of fiscal responsibility, given the competing demands for resources and support from across society.

The competition poses a different set of questions related to the broader economy each year.

For the current round of the Competition, the essay questions are:

The undergraduate topic is "Make a case for and against investing in South Africa" and the postgraduate topic question is "President Ramaphosa has announced a number of initiatives to stimulate economic growth – i.e. the $100bn investment target, the jobs summit and the stimulus package. What do you think will the likely outcome be in terms of the stated aims of lifting growth and creating more jobs?".

The winners are selected by a judging panel that carefully scrutinises each submission, the highest-ranking essays are selected to go through to the Adjudication Panel, where 10 postgraduates and 10 undergraduates are chosen as finalists to attend various activities in Cape Town in February each year.

The competition culminates in the recognition of the top undergraduate and post-graduate students, subsequent to the reading of the National Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance on 26 February 2020 at a Gala Dinner hosted by both Nedbank and Old Mutual and attended by the Minister of Finance. 

Once again, this year, there are 20 finalists, 10 undergraduate and 10 postgraduate students from universities across South Africa vying for the ultimate prize to become the Nedbank and Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition champions.


A total of R420,000 worth of cash prizes are up for grabs, sponsored by both Nedbank and Old Mutual.

-       The postgraduate category winner will receive R150,000

-       The undergraduate category winner receives R60,000

-       First and second runners up in each category will receive a share of R210,000